August 14, 2018

Is “Re-baptism” Always, Necessarily Wrong? (An Answer for Believer-baptizers) One of the questions I am asked most frequently, always by believers in “believer baptism” (sometimes erroneously called “adult baptism”), is this: Is it wrong for a person to be re-baptized? Here is what they mean. (This explanation is necessary especially for those who do not understand the meaning of baptism for so-called “credo-baptists”—Christians who reject “pedo-baptism” or “infant baptism.”) Should a person who was once baptized upon his or her… Read more

August 12, 2018

ANGRY AMERICANS /THE SHAME OF THE SAME MOUTHS (Guest Post by Don Clark)   (I have explicit permission from Don Clark to post this essay to my blog. It first appeared—so far as I know—on another blog. Someone forwarded it to me and it caught my attention because of the mention of Mark Hatfield—one of my evangelical heroes. I often ask myself “Where have the Mark Hatfields gone?” But Hatfield was not alone; there was a time when many, many… Read more

August 9, 2018

Why the Mega-Church Model Isn’t Working In recent years several founders and leaders of evangelical, independent mega-churches have fallen off their celebrity-pastor pedestals hard. It’s happening again, right now, at perhaps the best-known and most influential of them all. As usual, I am not going to name names here. My interest is not at all in spreading gossip or even revealing factual information that might cause more pain to families (both biological and faith). Many of you will know what… Read more

August 6, 2018

A Paradigm Shift in Christian Theology: What It Means to Say “God Is Jesus” Recently I published here an essay entitled “Who Is God?” In it I quoted German theologian Jürgen Moltmann as answering that question “Jesus.” Now, as a reminder, anyone who knows Moltmann’s theology knows he is not a “Jesus Only” or “Oneness” or “Modalist” with regard to the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity has been one of his specializations; it pervades everything he writes about. He… Read more

August 2, 2018

Literary Christian Fiction: Where Is It? (Some Examples) I have always been a fan of good novels. Not necessarily classics (although I’ve read some and enjoyed them). I like historical novels and especially ones that have some something to do with Christian history or where the characters (or at least one) are serious Christians and not stupid or sinister. An example—that I really enjoyed—is entitled simply “Q” and is published by Mariner Books (2005). The author is “Luther Blissett” which… Read more

July 29, 2018

Who Is God? On Youtube one can see a series of portions of an interview of theologian Jürgen Moltmann by his former student, theologian Miroslav Volf. In one segment of the interview Volf asks Moltmann “Who is God?” Moltmann’s immediate reply is “Jesus.” He goes on to say that if it were not for Jesus he would not believe in God. There is probably no single theologian whom I have studied more than Moltmann. I have read almost every book… Read more

July 25, 2018

Accredited by Whom? And How? Some Thoughts about “Accreditation” in Relation to Christian Higher Education What gives me the credibility to write about academic accreditation? First, for those not “in the know,” let me explain what “accreditation” means in contemporary higher education. In the United States (and I assume elsewhere) there exist many “accrediting” societies and associations that serve to give institutions of higher education a kind of “Good Housekeeping seal of approval.” An “accredited college” or “accredited university” is… Read more

July 22, 2018

A Possible Partial Explanation of the Contemporary Evangelical (Fundamentalist) Political Posture I know that I am going way out on a limb here, attempting to explain, however partially, American fundamentalist evangelicals’ political support of President Trump and the Republican Party in general. The dots I connect here may not make much sense to anyone else, but I think I see connections between fundamentalist evangelicalism in the 1950s and 1960s and the seemingly irrational and uncritical political support of many fundamentalist… Read more

July 20, 2018

Can Prayer Change God? (Yes and No) If I were to write another book about Christian clichés (folk religion) I would include a chapter on this very popular one: “Prayer doesn’t change things; it changes me.” Or sometimes it goes like this: “Prayer doesn’t change God; prayer changes me.” Over the years, but very often recently, I have seen or heard this cliché—in sermons, on Facebook, in casual conversations. It has become a kind of stock cliché that rarely receives… Read more

July 15, 2018

Is God Necessarily the All-Determining Reality? Occasionally I “meet” (including non-face-to-face meetings here and elsewhere) people who believe that the God Christians worship is what theologian Greg Boyd calls “the God of the blueprint”—the Supreme Being who is not only creator and sustainer and redeemer but also the one who theologian John Piper says “designs, ordains, and governs” everything that happens without exception. First, there are Christian (and other) theologians and philosophers who believe that God, in order to be… Read more

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